Well Met

Jen DeLuca. Berkley, $15 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-984805-38-6
DeLuca shows a strong familiarity with Renaissance faire culture but a shallow comprehension of relationship dynamics in this humorous but thin debut romance. Recently dumped Emily Parker is living with her older sister, April, and niece, Caitlyn, in Willow Creek, Md. After a car crash takes April temporarily out of commission, Emily is roped into tavern wenching at the local faire. She immediately dislikes micromanaging, pedantic killjoy Simon Graham, who has run the faire since his brother died three years earlier. But when Simon’s pirate character, Capt. Ian Blackthorn, takes to dramatically wooing Emily’s Emma as part of the show, that energy seeps into real life. In-character banter with the whole ensemble and Emily’s heart-to-heart chats with the queen (bookstore owner Christine Donovan) flow naturally with warmth and wit, and setting details will resonate with those familiar with Faire while remaining comprehensible to other readers. But the love-hate energy between Simon and Emily is both overstated and lukewarm, and it’s hard to believe their romance will last beyond August. Anyone who’s not deeply into Ren faires or nostalgic for costumed summers past should give this a miss. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/30/2019
Release date: 09/03/2019
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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